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  CNN    John King USA    News/Business. John King. Daily  
   political news and stories. New.  

    July 6, 2011
    7:00 - 8:00pm EDT  

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starts right now. >> up first tonight, your safety. fresh concerns about a new al qaeda threat to air safety. a possible al qaeda resurgence as u.s. troops look for some in afghanistan and outrage over the obama administration's handling of a somali terrorist. they say the department of homeland security is warning air carriers it has new intelligence suggesting terrorists are looking to board flights with surgically implanted explosive devices. the transportation safety administration declined to be that specific, but he acknowledged the new warning. >> the information we have shared concerns information that has been obtained by the u.s. government that describes a new technique to circumvent our current screening protocols around the world or in the u.s. i'll leave it at that. >> u.s. officials are declining
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as of yet to tell us the exact origins of this new intelligence, though pistole says they're trying to adapt it to improved security screening efforts. >> we see this as the latest evolution of what terrorist groups were trying to do to circumvent our security layers and to perhaps defeat our societal norms. >> more on that story a bit later tonight. also tonight a highly unusual terrorism apprehension and investigation is drawing criticism from leading republicans in congress. he's in federal custody tonight and charged with nine counts for alleged involvement with terrorists in somalia and it was after he was held and interrogated for more than two months aboard a u.s. navy ship. chris lawrence is working his sources on this blossoming controversy. explain how this unfolded, why the decision to keep him on a ship for two months? >> basically, john, it goes to a
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fundamental question of what will the obama administration do with the terrorists it appear turs. the president dloesed the cia around the world to military tribunals in guantanamo bay. this is a new way forward for freedom. it involves interrogation on a u.s. navy ship at sea. they say he was picked up near the gulf of aden in april. military interrogators helped him with the help of intelligence officials and when they were done the fbi stepped in and started all over again trying to collect evidence that could be used in an actual court. u.s. officials say he gave up valuable intelligence. they fought with the militants in somalia that he was helping
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to link those militants with al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and that he was also looking for more operational. john. >> chris, in the pass largely the cia gets caught up in this big debate about how to interrogate what to do. >> they say it's tough. anytime they operate outside of iraq and afghanistan in battlefields it becomes murkier. they say they're faced with the question of can he go back to the u.s. and be tried? that has to go through several agencies. can he have a third-party that take him when neither of the two are available, they would be forced to let someone go. >> the obama administration's treatment of the somali terrorist suspect isn't sitting well with lawmakers on capitol hill.
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among them lindsey graham of south carolina. >> we learned this morning that a gentleman was taken into custody, kept on a u.s. ship and he's now in custody. >> the last thing i'm worried about is prosecuting enemy fighters. i want to find out what they know about the enemy, what intelligence value do they have to the united states. having people on ships has never been used in warfare before in terms of prisons. he should have been sent to guantanamo bay and held as an enemy combatant and interrogated. >> the administration would make the case it has interrogated him sufficiently and thinks it should move on to the next step to bring him to justice. what's wrong with that. >> look how long it took to put the puzzle together to catch bin laden.
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what if everyone was held for 60 days and provided a lawyer? do you think we would have put the puzzle together? you need to hold people off the battlefield and gather intelligence. when you capture an enemy prisoner the last thing you think of is prosecution. you think of holding the people and gathering intelligence. this model of keeping them on a ship for 60 days and saying that's the best way to gather intelligence justifies common sense. >> some democrats including the administration in the senate as well think that people like yourself who have this argument make too much of it. that you're minimizing the impact of the court system here in the united states. listen to senator durbin of illinois. >> the facts are that under president bush after 9/11 and under president obama, more than 400 suspected terrorists have been tried in the criminal courts of america, article 3 constitutional courts, and convicted. they've been tried in our courts and convicted. they're serving time in the prisons of the united states of
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america. that's right. convicted terrorists, convicted in criminal courts, now serving time in prisons across america. >> you don't disagree with that, but you think philosophically that should not be the priority, am i right? >> one, i don't buy the idea that 400 enemy fighters, noncitizens captured on the battlefield have been tried in article 3 courts. having said that, i'm okay with using federal courts in some terrorist cases. the point i'm trying to make with all due respect to senator durbin, he is fighting a crime. i am fighting a war, and in war you don't capture people for the purpose of prosecution. you capture people to keep them off the battlefield and gather intelligence, and criminal prosecutions stop the intelligence gathering process. >> let me ask you about another big terrorism case. as i do so, i want to remind people you are active in the military reserves and are an military lawyer so you have an understanding of these issues.
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the army general has approved now the death penalty possibility for major hasan, the ft. hood alleged shooter. capital court marshach capital court marshalls is rare in this country. >> the death penalty is available in limited cases, multiple murders like this case. i'm not going to second guess the military. i think ffs a sound decision. let me tell you this. we have a number of foreign fighters in our prisons in afghanistan under america jurisdiction. these people need to be taken out of afghanistan, put in guantanamo bay because if we turn them over to the afghan legal system they're going to be right back on the streets, and they're non-afghans. we need a rational policy to deal with foreign fighters. don't put them on a ship or criminalize the war. major hasan is an american citizen tried in the military court. the death penalty is being sought. that is a recent way for it it. he'll be provided a robust defense. >> i want to shift your attention to domestic issues.
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you think it is necessary to bring fiscal sanity in washington. it's one thing that some republicans are insisting on as part of any big deal with the president on deficit and debt reduction. john mccain on the floor of the senate earlier today said set it aside. let's listen. >> in order to avoid what would be disastrous consequences for our markets, our economy as a whole, and our standing in the world, i encourage my colleagues to lay aside at least temporarily their insistence that amending the constitution be a condition of their support for a solution to this terrible problem. >> is he wrong or right? >> well, he certainly is entitled to his opinion, and i respect him greatly. here's my view. neither party will ever balance the budget in a sustained manner without a constitutional amendment. in 1997 when the republicans controlled the house and president clinton was president, we had surpluses. the republican congress along with the democratic president
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spent all the money. we will do that again. the only way i can honestly tell people in south carolina we'll ever get out of debt is have a constitutional amendment to balance the budget and let the states have a say about what to do up here. with all due respect, i think insisting upon a balanced budget amendment of the constitution is the only sure way to get out of debt. that's sad but true in my view. >> your friend senator mccain said today that republicans need to drop their blanket opposition to any tax increases. if you get significant cuts and other big changes to entitlement programs, he thinks republicans should be open to at least some tax increases to strike a compromise with the president. is he he wrong there, too? >> i think what he's saying is that we should not raise tax rates but close loopholes and deductions. there's $1.2 trillion given away in the tax code to special interest groups. i will willing to take those deductions off the table and
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recapture that revenue and buy down rates to pay off the debt. that is the best way to raise revenue, grow the economy, but do deductions and exemptions, remove those and don't raise rates. i think that's what john is saying, and that's what i agree with. i would willing to flatten the tax code and take the money in exemptions and pay oft debt. >> you think there will be a deal with the president in the next two weeks? >> i don't think so. i don't like the way it's shaping up. i'm raeeally, really worried wee going to play a game of comichi here. >> senator graham, we'll check back in. >> thank you. >> the white house's view as the president prepares for the high stake summit. next an exclusive cnn look at a remote area in afghanistan where u.s. troops see evidence of an attempted al qaeda comeback. it'd coming out to the side of the block
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now after nearly a decade of u.s. military involvement in afghanistan, president obama's promising to begin drawing down u.s. troop levels. as nick payton walsh discovered during a trip to remote afghanistan, there are signs that the taliban and al qaeda see an opening. >> reporter: we pushed down into the valley. still an insurgent stronghold. high-tech american attack helicopters buzzed overhead until militants shot at them from up the valley. >> it's uncharacteristic for the taliban around here. they're getting gutsy. if you push up farther than that, you're going to take enemy contact. it's pretty certain. >> nick payton walsh joins us from kabul. the lieutenant said the taliban is getting, quote, pretty gutsy. where does this confidence come from, and does it it stem in
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part from the fact they know the americans are leaving? >> reporter: i think that's true to a certain extent. the gutsiness is perhaps a suggestion that some fighters there are foreign. u.s. officials identifying what they believe were safe havens there before they launched a large operation into that particular area. the focus was on pakistan's safe havens there. that where many in washington believe al qaeda was hiding. big concerns they naif found a breathing space in afghanistan. >> if they have a breathing space in afghanistan, we are nearing a decade mark in this conflict. can you push al qaeda out of afghanistan permanently, and the subquestion in that scenario has been when will the afghans be ready to do this themselves? when will they take the lead in the army and police? where are we there? >> reporter: very difficult to
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answer that. the immediate reaction is the afghans are nowhere near ready. the bulk of the army, the guys we saw in that piece, that report back there, only 5 out of 15 willing to go on patrol one morning. many patrols turned back because the afghans weren't ready to go down. concerns there certainly if they are trying to hunt down the remnants of al qaeda or perhaps returning al qaeda elements within pakistan, those are afghan army soldiers we came across on the job. frankly, also the american presence isn't strong or sophisticated or maybe well equipped enough to go after those elements as those al qaeda fighters they seem to face in the large operation they conducted last month, john. >> when you spend time with these american troops and they're in these very risky, remote areas and putting their lives at risk, do they have the open worry that as they come home that maybe in six months, maybe in a year or two they will look at afghanistan and see al qaeda reborn? >> reporter: that's a very worrying question, i think, for
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everybody. it's going to be very hard, i think, to convince policymakers in washington, many members of the american electorate that the withdrawal from afghanistan is not overly precipitous if there are still al qaeda elements there. al qaeda returning to some of the areas america withdrawn from. bear in mind the place where we were at to the north is where nato withdrew entirely. so deep concerns that when america reduces its presence in afghanistan, the taliban flood back in, but also perhaps al qaeda militants, arabs they say linked to al qaeda. that's the large concern with u.s. officials now at the moment, john. >> excellent. quite sober reporting. nick, thank you. still to come here. we know that debt deficit summit at the white house tomorrow. the president wants republican to a degree to have higher taxes, but what is the president willing to give? next, though, more details on
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welcome back. here's the latest news you need to know right now. a u.s. security official tells cnn terrorists have shown interest in bombing planing using passengers who get past
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security with surgically implanted explosives. the head of the transportation security administration says airline passengers may notice additional security. >> we're doing other things here in the u.s. that people may or may not see in terms of random, unpredictable screening, whether that's behavior detection, canines, the explosive trace detection, the swabbing. all those things people may or may not see different types of security as they travel through u.s. airports. >> let's dig deeper on this with the "los angeles times" national security correspondent, brian bennett. what is the intelligence? sometimes they have little sketches in which they say it's serious enough to give a warning and sometimes they are more intelligence that raises the alarm level. what are they hearing? >> the intelligence officials vnts heard about a specific plot. they heard chatter that a terrorist group was planning to or thinking about surgically implanting bombs inside people. they didn't have specific information about a specific plan to target u.s. aircraft.
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>> but they take it seriously enough to warn carriers in the united states but overseas. what are they asking them to do? >> they sent out a warn to u.s. aircraft, air carriers and other governments. they're asking them to to be vigilant, and you'll see in airports more dogs and more swabs and also you're going to probably be asked more questions as you go through. as tsa agents use behavioral detection to see if someone is nervous or jittery. >> is this more of a risk for flights overseas or equal risk in the united states. >> the intelligence is that it was probably being considered for flights into the u.s. for overseas. there's particular attention focused on u.s.-bound flights from overseas, and you can imagine someone might be quite nervous if they had a surgically implanted bomb coming to the gate. they'll look for unusual behaviors. >> any sense this is one of the hardest things to crack in your
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line of work, where do they get the intelligence? that helps you understand if it's specifical allally linked qaeda? >> we don't know yet where the information came from. the experts say this type of plot would be consistent with al qaeda and yemen. they have shown the ability to creatively hide explosives like in the mail bomb packages last fall, and also in the christmas day bomber who hid explosives in his underwear. so experts are looking and pointing towards al qaeda can and yemen as a possibility for where this type of attack would be planned. >> if you listen with the interview with john pistole, you get the sense that he used this as an evolution. after 9/11 you can't bring sharp objects on the plane and then the fluids and gels and the printer cart tridges and the lis like this. this is perhaps the next evolution of how to hide? >> they're looking at it.
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certainly they've seen a number of chatter this year and the year before that al qaeda was interested in trying to hide explosives inside a person. we haven't seen an indication that that had gotten to the point of an actual plan or reality, and really a lot of x-ray experts say that plot is far-fetched. it would be very difficult to hide and pull off. >> a lot of people watching at home say how do you hide explosives inside an individual? you get picked out randomly and run it through the device. >> bomb-sniffing dogs can detect whether you have explosive trace. if you've gone through a procedure like this to hide a bomb in your body, there's been some explosives in that room. dogs pull it off the body. tsa agents are looking for people who might appear sick or appear like they've just had an unusual surgery like bennett, i your reporting tonight. thank you very much.
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the former chinese president may or may not be dead. the chinese government won't say. if you live in china internet searches using his name are
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being locked tonight. he was the leader from 1993 to 2003, an important era just as china was a major player in the international community and economy. if you forget about it, here's a little flashback. those were the days i was a cnn white house correspondent covering bill clinton. >> president's informal trip to the white house set the stage for a dramatic and difficult u.s.-china summit. the white house residence was a scene of a warm-up meeting that began with a tour and included discussions of tibet and human rights. administration officials say it's special to building closer ties between the two countries and their two leaders. >> kind of hard to look at. i was a little bit younger there. you want to see the difference between the two countries? you live in the united states and you heard the rumor he may have died. you might do what many americans would do. you can go to google and type in the name if you wanted to see that news. you touch down on the keyboard,
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and you do your google search and you would find out right here the latest news would pop up. you would see some background and photos. we do this every day. when something comes up we go to google or another search engine. this is how it happened in china today and following a social media site maybe and heard this rumor. you go to your internet connection and on the keyboard. when you hit search, this is what would happen right here. a couple of things about biography, but here's the key point right here. censorship, according to laws and policies some search results were not shown. approxima let's get some insight. nick, let's start first with zemin. why the chinese leadership be so determined to keep its own people from going on the internet and trying to find out and search his name? >> it's essentially reflex.
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i don't think it's really a formal policy, but whenever anything is considered sensitive and nothing is more sensitive than the illness or death of a leader, then the instinct is to just go out and censor. the people doing the censorship they may not know whether he's alive or dead, but once they start on that path, then they need to censor not only the characters for zemin but need to censor, for example, the word for river because his family name is the word for river. you can't search the yellow river. you can't search the yangtze river in china. you can't do searches for the 301 army hospital, because that's where he would be treated. they start on this path, and it becomes completely ridiculous. in a sense this is what really turns off and antagonizes so many chinese. it feels so patronizing to them.
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>> when you go through all them, the symbol for his name is the symbol from river. the fact they can respond to quickly, though, so we may think it's odd. we may question how long they can keep the genie in the bottle, but they're very good at this. >> they've become very good at censorship, but the problem is really that the public gets better. chinese is a language with a lot of homonyms, so when one word is censored you immediately come up with another. for example, june 4th is typically sensored because that's the date of the 1989 killing of the democracy protestors. students figured out that they could write about may 34th, for example, and get around it that way. i don't think this is helping keep chinese in the dark. it makes people nor ingenious about getting around the rules and irritating them in the process. >> a reflex as you described in the beginning of our
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conversation anyway. how much so is it a more important reflex in the wake of the arab things. cnn international has been knocked off the air several times, so it's not just the internet censorship increasing. why does the chinese government so sensitive to keeping news of pro-democracy investigations and progress around the world and some of the setbacks from its own people? >> you know, i think from our vantage point abroad, we look at china and see it as this rising power and incredibly strong regime. i think from their point of view, the chinese leadership sees themselves as just running along this hamster wheel to stay on top. they're very worried about maintaining economic growth without having too much inflation that will annoy people. they were terrified by arab spring but by the calls for a
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revolution in china that would echo it. they really feel profoundly insecure. they worry that these electronic means will be one way that we'll get people to unite and network and organize demonstrations against the regime. that has made them exceptionally sensitive to the whole, you know, web-based -- to the chinese version of twitter, which is what a lot of these -- where a lot of these terms have been blocked, for example. it's something that they, i think, really wake up in the middle night in cold sweat about. >> you mentioned twitter. it's the perfect transition. we're talking about censorship in china, and i want to pivot to openness in the united states. even with our open system sometimes you don't get the answer you're looking for. the president of the united states had a twitter town hall today, and one of the questions was this one. >> this comes from nick kristof. was it a mistake it to fail to get republicans to raise the debt ceiling at the same time tax cuts were extended?
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>> nicholas is a great columnist, but i have to tell you the assumption of the question is that i was going to be able to get them to commit to raising the debt ceiling. >> it went on for another three minimum natures saying that was the lame duck session and only so much he could get, the republicans were empowered because they won the election. what did you think of the answer? >> well, you know, the president may well be right on that, but it's not clear to me that we really tested -- that he really tested the republicans at that time, and that this was really something that he tried hard to get at the time. i have the sense that it was something that the white house really didn't foresea that the republicans were going to try to use this budget ceiling as leverage and i know in retrospect i think probably a loot of people would acknowledge that it was a mistake to not at lease try to get a republican
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commitment at that time. >> i think in private many in the white house would agree. as we started on censorship, you got to ask the question. thanks for your time tonight. that's the big issue. the president has a huge summit tomorrow. what does the president want? we'll talk to a top economic adviser. that's next. rn. ♪ machines have a voice. ♪ medical history follows you. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities... committed to delivering the most advanced mobile broadband experience to help move business... forward. ♪ constipated? phillips' caplets use magnesium, an ingredient that works more naturally with your colon than stimulant laxatives,
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the clock is ticking down to the august 2nd deadline to a possible default on the debt. congressional leaders go to the white house tomorrow. during his twitter town hall today the president said he wants a deal in the next two weeks to raise the debt ceiling and make big cuts in the deficit. jessica yellen says democratic officials say they want a big deal that cuts 3 to $4 trillion in spendsing over the next decade. indications republicans may be open to closing some tax loopholes to bring in more money. a bit earlier i spoke with gene spurling, the director of the economic council. >> the president wants something very significant. we're not just here to do the least we can to kick the can down the road. >> what is the president willing toll give in an honorable compromise? democrats think on the medicare issue they have a good campaign weapon for 2012. what is the president prepared
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to tell the democrats we're going to cut a deal here, and how much will we save in the medicare program under what the president is prepared to agree to? >> it's not going to shock you you will conduct the negotiations here, but let me be pretty direct. there are people on both sides who have made ultimatums like not a penny on medicare no matter what. not a penny of revenue on high income americans or on corporate tax breaks. what the president is saying is we just can't reach the kind of numbers we need to bring our dif set down, and we can't reach the type of shared sacrifice we need and the political compromise we need if people faye political ultimatums. of course, any bipartisan debt reduction deal means that everyone has to sacrifice a little and put the sacred cows on the table. of course, the president has said that we need to do -- take on the health programs, medicare and medicaid in a way that protects them, strengthens them. he's willing to do that as part of a package that includes, you
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know, not extending or giving as much tax relief to upper income americans and not allowing the most egregious corporate tax breaks to be continued and then ask middle class americans and seniors to bear the burden of getting the fiscal house in order. >> if you listen closely it appears that some as much as more and more are willing to give you those loopholes you're talking about, but they seem adamant especially on the house side you're not getting an increase it in rates right now on higher income americans. can you reach a compromise in the ballpark of the president's monetary goal, if you will, without getting the increase in rates? >> if people want to come together and find a compromise, there are a lot of ways to get there. once people decided to put the politics -- to check the politics and ultimatums at the door and work together. so, for example, the bipartisan fiscal commission, the boles
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simpson commission said if you cut tax expenditures enough, you could both reduce tax rates for americans and still have a significant amount going to reducing our deficit. that is certainly the type of idea that is on the table. >> if he gets a deal that he likes and it it includes significant savings in the medicare program and the democrats run ads in the 2012 campaign accusing the republicans of pushing grandma off a cliff, will the democratic president said my party is wrong, and they're demagoguing this issue? >> look, i mean, i don't deal in hypotheticals a week from now. i'm not dealing in hypotheticals more than a year from now. i think what's important is that the president is asking leaders from both parties to come to the white house, come talk about how we can get there. i think that there is in this town an understanding that when you have divided government and huge problems, you've got to compromise if you want to make hard choices and solve big things. >> as you know, some criticing
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question what the president did to try to recover. this past week they're referring to a report by his own economist, the administration says the stimulus bill cost about $666 billion, and the white house says it created or saved between 2.4 and 3.6 million jobs. if you do the math, the critics say that's $277,000 or maybe 185,000 if you take the higher number, $185,000 job. a critic said that was not money well spent. >> that just could not be more wrong. i will tell you, serious people, you ask the chairman of the federal reserve, serious people around the world, they will tell you had it not been for the quick and significant and dramatic efforts taken by president obama in those first six months, our country could have gone into a great depression and could have brought global growth down worldwide. and i think that when the politics are put to the side, people recognize that that quick-acting measures by this
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president helped save us from something that would have been unthinkable. >> worth every penny? >> absolutely. >> gene spurling at the white house, thanks for your time tonight. joining us is david walker the former u.s. comptroller who is the ceo of the america comeback initiative. david, i want to start with you. from what you hear from the white house, more diplomatic rhetoric in recent days and more from republicans open on the loophole question, not on tax rates, do you see the the beginning of the move toward a deal, or do you see the beginning of getting two weeks from now where lindsey graham says he don't think there will be a deal. >> i'm cautiously optimistic there will be a deal. they have a short-term deal in the election. in my view you have to have defense spending on the table, medicare, medicaid, and tax expenditures. tax expenditures represent back door spending. our revenues now are below 15%
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of gdp. taking on some of those tax expenditures as part of a comprehensive deal is a reasonable approach. we also have to have some budget controls that will frankly get us to much more than $2 to $4 trillion in spending cuts. >> david mentioned the tax expenditures or loopholes, whatever you want to call them. i want to break them down. this gets politically dicey because of the support in the business community and sometimes among the public at large. here's the top five hite rear. 32% come from health care and insurance, retirement savings, mortgage interest, capital gains and dividends and the earned income tax credit. if you add them up, mortgage interest, capital gains, you can find some serious money when you talk about reducing the deficit and bring fiscal sanity to washington. each one has a pretty powerful political constituency. do you see the politicians willing to take the tough votes?
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>> i think that's an excellent question, john. i think the democrats who lost the public battle in this debate did something pretty smart in refocusing attention on tax loopholes. everyone hates the loopholes that we think our neighbor is getting, and it neatly sidesteps this issue of increasing tax yax. where the rubber is going to hit the road is when you come to the specific loopholesecause we love the loopholes we benefit from. i think the mortgage interest deduction is going to be the toughest one, particularly now when the housing market is still so weak. i would be really surprised if they went after that. where i think there is a powerful lobby but also a very effective counter political argument. a bellwether one is the way carried interest is treated. this benefits a very narrow group of people, hedge funds and
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private equity, and it's really unfair. it's why warren buffett pointed out he pays lower taxes than his secretary. if they can make that one stick, then i think that shows they're really able to get traction on these loopholes overall. >> if they do the loophole deal, what about medicare? the house democrats don't want the president to give up much at all. what's the number? it means test benefits and they can do other things to squeeze out savings. how much money do they need to get out of medicare? >> it's hard to say how much money. the fact is medicare is underfunded to the tune of about $37 trillion in current dollar terms based on reasonable assumptions. no matter what they do on medicare, it's a modest downpayment towards trying to make that program solvent, sustainable and secure over time. >> there's some who say hit the deadline. doesn't matter. force the government to make
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tough decisions. the others say we'll see the financial markets go into deep markets go into deep turmoil again. who is right? >> we won't know until it happens. the risk of serious turmoil, if the politicians try to pull an all nighter is sufficiently severe. a prudent legislature that cared about the country more than anything else wouldn't try to risk it. >> appreciate your insights. again, high stakes negotiations. the president of the united states bringing the bipartisanship together. we'll see if progress can be made. >> new york prosecutors aren't ready to drop the rape charges against the head of the monetary fund. how do women see this story? we head to paris, next. here at quicken loans,
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love it or your money back. prosecutors and attorneys for the former international monetary head held what they are calling a con struck ty meeting today. they are not saying if the sexual assault case will be dropped. tonight, that woman's attorney is demanding the manhattan's district attorney refuse the case. the story is making waves here in the united states and in france where strauss-kahn was
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until this controversy. for some insight, i spoke with "the new york times" international correspondent. she's based in paris now. among the book she's written, "le seduction" how the french play the game of life. we are not sure where the legal drama goes. at the moment, no resolution. let's start with the political ramificatio ramifications. how is the dsk scandal, i will call it, playing out? >> it's playing out on a lot of different levels. he could have gotten the nomination. it's clear it's moving in another direction. there's no way he will be the political candidate representing the socialists and he may not be an advantage for the socialists. >> you see a broader cultural question here. some of your colleagues use the term a dsk moment in the new york times.
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tell us what you mean by that. what is being tested and challenged by this? >> i think there's a real gender gap or generational gap in the way the french are seeing this issue. in terms of gender, women are feeling different from men. i call it the anita hill moment. women in the united states started telling men you just don't get it. i go around and ask every woman i know, what do you think about this from the make up artist at a tv studio saying we are sick of being called little dolls. to women who work in the national assembly saying we want to be feminine and wear skirts but we are tired of getting bad remarks about us in the elevators to much more serious issues such as the fact that an estimat estimated 75,000 women in france are raped a year and only 10% of
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them report it. men are trying to deal with women's consciousness being raised and their own being raised as well. >> the statistic you cited is numbing and sobering. how much different is the situation, the culture, the openness, the fear in france than for someone watching here in the united states saying how is that different from me? >> it's very different in the sense that women in the united states for about the past 25 years have been less afraid to report rape. it's not at all perfect. i wonder if the dominique strauss-kahn is going to have a chilling effect even in the united states. in france, it's not unusual for women to report a rape years after. i was at a conference over the weekend out in a far suburb of paris with 40 feminist groups and they are making rape the big
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issue this year and making the awareness of reporting rape a big issue. france doesn't have the same support system we have in the united states in terms of women support groups or legal aid and so it's -- they are at a very different place. >> you wrote a book, "the seduction: how the french play the game of life." it's critical to the culture. some of the lines are being tested right now? >> absolutely. i think women are in a full-scare identity crisis. they want to be feminine and seductive and whistled at an the street but they want to be treated with respect and not sexually harassed. this is open conversation that's messy, open ended but necessary. >> in a national conversation you do not see ending regardless of what happens to mr.
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strauss-kahn? >> i think there's going to be a conversation that will continue regardless. even if this was not a forcible rape, the fact that he had some sort of sexual encounter with a hotel maid is not romantic seduction for many french, for many french women, many french men, even. it was exposed that he was unfaithful to his wife in a way that doesn't sound like the french view of seduction. it has degraded him in a way. >> appreciate your time tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> thank you. that wraps it up for us. a big news day today. casey anthony could go free as earlys tomorrow in a courtroom. the summit on deficit and debt in the white house. the president of the united states trying to cut a deal with republicans. among our